Vodafone shares Headquarters with High-Tech Firestarters

On April 10th, Vodafone will open up part of their recently finished new regional headquarters in Amsterdam for high-tech potential. The first group of firestarters will derive from the cross-European competition Startupbootcamp. At maximum 10 teams will be approved for an acceleration phase in this brand new facility, offering them mentoring, financial support, expertise and tapping into a high-end brand name.


According to Patrick de Zeeuw and Ruud Hendriks, co-founders of Startupbootcamp Amsterdam – the local intitiative as part of the cross-European network – “Startup teams from all around the world have sent in their applications. We are now busy rating all the applications. Teams with high ratings will be invited to pitch live or on Skype the following weeks.” The team went through a serious selection process: in February all participators had to pitch through Skype and live meetings, resulting in 20 teams being invited to the finals in March. During those finals 20 teams presented their ideas and 10 of them were finally selected for the intensive acceleration programme. The companies who will start on April 10th are:


Open Innovation Platform

According to Startupbootcamp Amsterdam these companies will set off in a 6 month project providing them free office space, free housing in Amsterdam, €17000,- funding per team, a sponsor package worth over €75000,- including fiscal advise, marketing advise, software, server space, testing in the Vodafone Innovation Lab and business model advise and the possibility to tap into the experience and knowledge of over 300 mentors in Europe who attached themselves to the project.

Google expands Start-up University

Started in early 2009, Google Ventures has seen an increasing number of successful investments over recent years. As part of the program Google Ventures launched a Start-up Lab program to create an innovation lab; a place where entrepreneurs can develop their products, collaborate and tap into google employees. Moreover, to develop in-depth knowledge, Google Ventures created the Start-up University, a place where entrepreneurs “can bring questions, curiosity and unsolved problems to the table.”

This University program has been a huge success, according to Bill Maris, Google Ventures’ managing partner: “This is a program that people are vigorously signing up for,” Maris said. “We have a waiting list of teachers, and these are all people who have started companies before, and who have been there. We can’t feed this stuff to our portfolio companies fast enough,” so he said to the Wall Street Journal. Therefore, Google Ventures is expanding: from 1100 m2 to 2250 m2 in the near future. The total amount of capital has grown from 100 million dollar annually in 2009 to 200 million dollar annualy in 2012.


Some of the most successful results of Google Ventures are the exits of HomeAway vacation rental services and gaming company Ngmoco who exited for 400 million dollar each last year. Another company, Silver Spring Networks, developing smart grids, went public last year.

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